When the pipes freeze

Lots of Facebook traffic about frozen water pipes during this extremely uncomfortable winter weather. These below zero temps remind me of my lifetime of winters living in Iowa. Weeks of this crap along with lots of snow and blizzard conditions was common so while I wish it would warm up, this Missouri weather is nothing in comparison. I’m in retrospective mood today because 17 years ago this morning, my dad passed. I decided several years ago that sending myself down the rabbit hole of grief on January 2 every year was not the way to celebrate and love my dad. I decided instead to honor him and our life together.

I remember it being every winter, but possibly not, the water pipes froze at the sidewalk junction to our house. As a child, I remember this being an extremely catastrophic event….not because we didn’t have water but because ‘what to do’ upset the rhythm of the household. I realize now that I was a kid and I should have been able to just trust the adults to work this out as they did…but the way they raised me, I felt responsible to help them work it out. Or was it just because I was an overly sensitive child? I may figure this out one day but today I’m going with memories of being a caretaker at an early age.

The one major frozen event occurred when we were visiting Grandma in Muscatine. We were not home to get a stream of water running in the sinks so it was frozen pretty solid through winter. I recall my dad buying heated hose to run from my friend, Lennie’s house next door so we would have water. I also recall that we ….. or my parents….payed their water bill that winter to thank them for helping us.

This post is more of a Documentation of memories for me but while I was typing it, I realized that it was an analogy of life. When our inbound pipes are frozen up with grief or anger or hate, we must work through a solution…sometimes the solution is going within and other times it is being open to the mental or physical help from others.

Until next time….

The vaporizer

We live in Missouri….we “don’t need no stickin’ humidity” as a furnace attachment…..and of course, I was wrong. It was pre summer and my biggest concern at the time was to have a high efficiency unit with cold cold in the summer and warm warm in the winter…and my myopic vision didn’t allow me realize I would still be alive and living in the House November through February when it is cold.

So, let’s do what we’ve always done, let’s just put one of the old pans on the stove and keep a light flame going under it…with that scenario the light flame under the kettle causes the water to evaporate into the air and I become totally anxiety ridden that I will forget about it and set the house on fire.

I’ve got an idea…let’s just get a small vaporizer with auto shutoff to run all day in the kitchen on the counter by the living room door to keep the humidity in the house at a comfortable level…I no longer feel the need to buy the best because there is no guarantee it will last and I can buy two cheap ones for the price of one if I’ve made the wrong decision.

WRONG FREEKING DECISION.

The one gallon Vick’s brand Vaporizer was under $40 through Amazon and it requires no filter…simple…once a week you just take a couple of parts off, pour vinegar and then bleach and water over the heating unit and in 20 minutes the hard water deposits just soak off….a light brushing may be needed. False! It must be cleaned every 3 or 4 days. vinegar doesn’t remove the water deposits in 20 minutes nor 24 hours…so now I’ve had to introduce chemical in my life with CLR and use his toothbrush to clean off the deposit. Okay….the last part was a joke.

running this damn thing 24/7 only gets the humidity to hover around 40% and the static electricity causing the cats hair to stand on end is still a problem. (Small exaggeration) The vaporizer is soaking in CLR as I write, I’ve used the toothbrush on it and now I have a kettle on the stove again. 🤬. I’m ready for summer so I can complain about the humidity! On a positive note, I don’t live in a desert state. That’s something.

Until next time…

The new gadget I’ve found

This hose changed my life!  

All of the years I lived in Iowa, Mothers Day in May was the beginning of spring for flower planting.  4 hours south in Missouri, I begin mid April.  With my first flower purchase of the year, I feel love and contentment.  It’s a renewal!  I find great pleasure dragging pots out of the garage, packing potting soil under my fingernails and spreading out the beauty on every flat surface I can find.  I’m never disappointed with the amazing color display that surrounds me on the deck early summer.  Then the hot summer starts frying the beauties even though they are protected much of the day under the leaf canopy…..and I have to start hauling water out of the house in a watering can and old ice tea plastic containers…refill after refill after refill….because the damn hose won’t reach from the side of the house to the deck.  This irritates me.  Then I found this cloth expandable hose on Amazon.  It is a very small hose ….. until I hook it to the regular hose and WOW it expands to 25 feet so I can reach every flower from one end of the deck to the other.  RECOMMEND!

I’ve always been partial to petunias…as long as they are dead headed, the color display is amazing…until you miss a few days of care


I’ve never been partial to germanium…but they are hearty and don’t disappoint.

For the last two years, I’ve been sheltering pots of these in the basement during winter.


This year I planted 3 of them in this old wash tub and they look amazingly lush.  For some reason these volunteer, obviously hardy petunias lasted?

And then my pride and joy….the potted plant the Baxter Fire and EMS sent me when I retired in 2014.  I stress out every winter when it starts dropping leaves but as soon as I get it outside it rejuvenates and is more beautiful than ever!


And now we move on…I’m starting the anticipation for Christmas lights.

Until next time….